Humble food moving up

This restaurant was recently renovated. Located in Terminal 2 of the airport, I came here for dinner. The food served here is humble food, eaten by ordinary folks of yesteryear, some who had to rummage through forest plants for food in order to stay alive during the war. There are other foods as well with less of a link to Singapore’s war past like the herbal soups which the Cantonese are especially fond of. One of their signature dishes, Samsui Chicken, used to be eaten annually by the Samsui women of old (single women who came from Canton province in China) and who worked their entire lives as manual labourers to eke out a living and are identifiable by their blue outfits and red triangular-looking headband or red bandana which they used to tuck their hair in.

We ordered their signature Samsui Chicken dish which is eaten wrapped in lettuce leaves here, hometown fried fish belly and stir-fried tapioca leaves, non-spicy. All we ordered were food that were eaten by humble folks of old and this chain of restaurants is famous for such food as well as their soups. I was pleasantly surprised that their utensils were no longer acrylic but ceramic. Acrylic plates and bowls, while not breakable, took away from the dining experience as a whole. The menus too have changed. The smaller dull beigy brown laminated menus have been replaced with larger brighter proper ones. The renovation also resulted in the dining rooms being a little more soundproof, which meant that we couldn’t hear the neighbours, but the staff could still hear us when we called out to them.

The food here is generally good and with the upgrading of their physical environment, they are showing themselves to be an even more serious contender for Chinese food customers than before. Sometimes, it’s the small things that speak volumes about one’s business outlook. I hope they will maintain the affordability and quality of their signature dishes though.

Soup Restaurant, Singapore Changi Airport, Terminal 2 #036-086, Viewing Mall North S(819643). Tel: 6545 6866.

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